What are YOU looking for in a color printer?  Is it fast, quiet operation and superb document and photo printing?  Is it efficient use of supplies with individual ink tanks?  I can make this simple by referring you to the $170 Canon i850 inkjet printer.

Canon uses a printhead design yielding an incredibly small two picoliter ink droplet (that’s two trillionths of a liter!) for true photo-realism like I have not seen before from such an inexpensive printer.  In the opinion of my trusted expert friends who know photography and colors far better than I, the Canon i850 does a simply remarkable job with four colors to produce stunning results.

You want quiet?  It is truly whisper quiet.  In the din of sounds in some homes and offices, this printer would be considered silent.  Really.

You want speed?  I cranked out gorgeous borderless 4” x 6” lab-quality prints in about 45 seconds.   Black text documents fly out at up to 22 pages per minute and color documents are delivered at the rate of up to 14 ppm.

The i850 is supplied with Windows software supporting the new worldwide standard for higher quality digital photos called Exif Print.  When used with an Exif compliant digital camera, all the camera settings and shooting conditions are saved in the JPEG image file.  Canon’s Easy-PhotoPrint software for Windows uses these settings to adjust the printer driver to deliver digital photo prints that more closely match the original image.

I don’t really know how they do it, but the images printed are really quite remarkable.  I don’t much care for the numbers.  That the i850 prints colors at up to 4800 x 1200 dpi is not what is important.  The quality is determined by how it looks on paper, and the photos and other images look great on paper.  Canon says their Photo Paper Pro will deliver prints that should last approximately 25 years.

I was very surprised with this printer, not prepared to like it as much as I do.  Not just the great images, I was also surprised by the miserly use of ink.  Part of my testing involved printing many, many photos and color-rich documents.  I had expected the ink tanks to not last as long as they did.  In my own unscientific way, I have determined that this printer is far from a consumables hog.  It is, in fact, pretty stingy with the ink, using less than any printer I can recall.

Standard connection for USB and Parallel cables is included as well as software for organization and printing: Easy-PhotoPrint (Windows), PhotoRecord™ (Windows), ZoomBrowser EX (Windows), ImageBrowser (Mac), PhotoStitch (Windows/Mac), electronic User’s Guide and electronic Photo Application Guide.   The individual ink tanks allow users to replace only the ink that has been exhausted to save money.

There you have it – speed, quality, value, and quiet performance.  What’s not to love?

There is native Mac OS X support as well as support for Windows.

All the info you need is HERE or call 1-800-OK-CANON.

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